The hour draws near with less than a week until I leave for Australia. It has been hard to comprehend what I am about to experience, and I have honestly not put much thought into specific expectations. However, I have received plenty of comments from friends and family on what they expect me to experience during my tenure abroad.
My father believes that I will succumb to the dangers of the Australian Outback and perish from a gruesome death in the jaws of a crocodile or by the venom of the brown snake. Whereas, my mother has reminded me that I am supposed to be studying abroad and not studying a broad. However, my friends believe that I can somehow manage both.
Contrary to the statements above, most of the expectations of others are positive and involve some measure of enjoyment or happiness. But, with all these expectations, I am beginning to feel overwhelmed and wonder how I might possibly accomplish enough to live up to these predetermined expectations.
I believe the answer to this problem lies in simply reducing my expectations but not by quality but rather by quantity. Instead of turning my time in Australia into a checklist of expectations, I hope to come away with an experience that has stirred me emotionally. I believe my childhood friends, Calvin and Hobbes, hit the nail on the head on what I expect from studying abroad with this insightful statement:
“That’s the difference between me and the rest of the world! Happiness isn’t good enough for me! I demand euphoria!”
But how might I possibly achieve euphoria on a daily basis?
Jimmy Valvano summed this up in his famous ESPY speech:
“There are three things we all should do everyday… Number one is laugh. You should laugh everyday. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”
I know that every second will not be euphoric, but I believe if I strive to accomplish these three things everyday that I truly will have experienced something special and possibly euphoric.